A few days ago I published my latest poem Good Intentions and at the bottom I had started to write an explanation for the poem. As I wrote down my thoughts, I realized there is a lot to cover and I would prefer to explain the poem separately. There are two parts in responding to the poem. The first covers a summary, with some explanation. The second part will be posted tomorrow and that portion covers the false teaching referenced in the poem, explaining a little more in detail.
Breakdown Of “Good Intentions”
Our poem begins with the speaker desiring to pray and read God’s word starting first thing in the morning. But other priorities come up. The speaker then has the desire to get into God’s word and meditate on what she read throughout the day as she does chores. Unfortunately, this does not happen, again, other things get in the way.
But she does make time for a 5 minute devotional. It’s clear the devotional is quick and focused mainly on life application. However, the material is not filling nor greatly informative of the scripture itself. She then wonders about the sermons and teachings that Christ gave and whether or not people only stayed to listen to Him for five minutes, like she is doing with the devotional. Did Christ teach life applications all the time with no mention of sin and repentance, she wonders? Note: Life application is important, but the poem is focusing on ONLY using life applications for scriptural guidance, and we, as Christians, need to understand all of the context of scripture. A lot of scripture is not about us.
She tries to worship the Lord aware that worship is not done only in song but our everyday actions, which is great. Unfortunately, it starts with yelling at her husband and continues with her being ungrateful. Feeling stressed and sad. No mention of turning to Christ in prayer, seeking forgiveness, and guidance in His word.
Then she shares she has been listening to a female “godly” pastor who encourages hearing the Lord outside of scripture. She admits she is unaware of 1st and 2nd Timothy requirements that pastors be male. (Please see this post Can Women Teach On A Blog That Men Read? for more examples of what scripture teaches for women pastors.) It appears the false teacher is steering away from focus on scripture.
Another godly pastor is mentioned, this time a male but he encourages experiences with the Lord. He encourages feelings and says when we have experiences with God this is proof we have a relationship with Christ. Scripture is not mentioned, either. Let it be noted, this poem is not referring to good works, which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, just pure “experiences” we think are from God. Notice the vagueness of these teachings, what is an “experience from God” and what exactly does it mean to “hear from God” outside of scripture?
Confused, the speaker admits she is unsure of these teachings. It’s clear these teachings are catering to self, with a focus on prosperity. The teachings make her feel good. Comparing her own experiences to the glorified ones the false teachers promote, she believes she needs to try harder. She is unaware and not realizing that to desire experiences with God and trying “harder” from the influence of these false teachers, actually encourages legalism and New Age Thinking instead.
She then goes into asking questions she is uncertain of. Atonement sacrifice. Jesus being discussed in the Old Testament. Why is Christ the High Priest? Do we sin daily, as the Lord’s Prayer, a daily prayer, seems to indicate so? Is it connected to our sinful nature discussed in Romans? Walking by the Spirit, godly living, seems legalistic to her. She feels judged and is convinced no one can judge because we all are fallen.
This shows the sense of conviction she is experiencing as she wonders if her struggles relate to her not actually knowing God and His truth. A hunger, thirst, and brokenness is evident in the speaker and she is aware those she listens to are not filling her soul’s depth or giving her the context of scripture for her questions.
The poem then shows God’s word is what holds the answers for her questions. Our purpose relates to God. It’s not about figuring out our calling or how to be successful in life. When we know the truth found in Christ, we then realize our purpose. We were created for good works, which is produced by the Holy Spirit, and we receive Him only through Jesus Christ. Our calling is for the edification of the church body. Her questions are not hidden but answered in the Bible. (Ephesians 2:10, Romans 14:19)
Sadly, though it’s pointed out Hebrews and Romans would give answers, Genesis having answers of the Messiah, and understanding our sinful nature would be helpful to her, she admits she doesn’t want to invest the time. She rather enjoys the teachings that are itching to the ears. She wants to believe the false teachers have a true connection with God and are genuinely hearing from Him. But she won’t take the time to test their words with scripture because she’s ignorant and she chooses to be ignorant because it’s easier.
The poem ends with the speaker deciding her current way of drawing close to God, though it is not nourishing (as seen from above), it is easier. Again, she says she meant to pray today, but at least she had good intentions.
In many ways, I was speaking about myself or my own experiences/thoughts I used to have. Many of us probably can relate to the poem in one way or another. My intention isn’t to make people feel bad but to point out some problems we need to deal with.
Monthly Scripture To Ponder/Memorize From Psalm 85 – (NKJ) Psalm 85:11, “Truth shall spring out of the earth, And righteousness shall look down from heaven.“
Community Prayer – October, 2020